No evidence that Patriots broke k-ball rules

AP

So many stories surfaced during the Deflategate media feeding frenzy that it’s hard to remember them all. One that has been largely overlooked was a report from ESPN that a Patriots locker room attendant tried to put an unapproved ball, not an NFL-mandated kicking ball, into the game on a special teams play.

The Deflategate report out today finds no evidence to corroborate that.

“Separate and apart from the issues that arose during the AFC Championship Game with respect to the inflation of Patriots game balls, questions were raised during the game with respect to the authenticity of one of the kicking balls (or “k-balls” as they are commonly known) used by the Patriots. We conclude that there is no evidence to support any finding of wrongdoing with respect to this kicking ball,” the report says.

There was some confusion about the k-balls during the AFC Championship Game. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski complained during the game that the ball he kicked off at the start of the game was in better shape than k-balls he kicked at subsequent times during the game, and he questioned why the first k-ball (which had been removed from the game to be sold at a charitable auction) couldn’t be retrieved. But the Deflategate investigation found that there was no wrongdoing within that confusion.

111 responses to “No evidence that Patriots broke k-ball rules

  1. i knew it!
    as a falcons fan, i knew we would be the only team penalized for freakin stupid fake crowd noise. And the Pats would get off w/o any penalty for deflate gate. And throw in a G.M. freakin texting and blatently cheating to his coaches on the sideline DURING A FREAKIN GAME!

    Yeah, Goodell’s doing a great F’ing job!

  2. I’d just like to go on record to say that if I was a famous athlete married to a super model I would not turn my phone over to any organization that employs Roger Goodell, Mike Kensil, etc.

    Next thing you know, my texts to my wife would be on the cover of people magazine, which don’t think any of us would want.

  3. Well let’s give the Patriots a round of applause for not cheating in the kicking game. That truly is admirable. Almost makes up for all the other cheating that they’ve been doing for the last 14 years.

  4. If the Patriots don’t fire McNally and Jastremski, that means an understanding has been reached. Let’s hope these two nitwits — the New England equivalent of Rozencrantz and and Guildenstern — break their silence. They know the truth of it. The Patriots are hoping to God they remain silent.

    This fun is only just beginning…

  5. This is all to keep the NFL at the forefront till camp the NFL is a dirty dirty show business !

  6. Wow the hamsters are churning and the Wheels are spinning again, all day today Mike! Congratulations!

    If you think for a second Patriots will not demolish the Colta again and be back to represent the AFC, your full of deflated nonsense.

  7. Everybody just wants Brady suspended because he is amazing at what he does. Brady isn’t going to get suspended and if he does its a game or two tops. I don’t even care it’s under inflated balls, he could have been throwing a basketball and still the Patriots would have beat the Colts. And they were monitoring the balls hardcore during the SB and he still tore up the Seahawks D. I didn’t hear this many negative comments about Hardy from the Cowboys only getting 10 game suspension over Domestic Violence. People are only hating cuz Brady and the Patriots win, like all the time. So get over it, if there was any real rock solid evidence it wouldn’t have taken 4 months for the investigation. Seriously all of Aaron Hernandez murder investigations probably didn’t even take that long. In my opinion the it’s the NFLs fault because they should have a better system in place to ensure something like that couldn’t have happened in the first place

  8. As a lifelong Pats fan, I would never burn my Brady jersey, but I’ll never wear it with the same pride.

  9. Brady lied to investigators too. Read the report. He didn’t talk to the two ball boys for 6 months. Then the deflategate report comes out and he’s talking to them for two days non stop.

    When asked about what….to tell them how he wants the Super Bowl balls.

    B to the S. Those calls were “get our story straight” calls.

    A QB altering his ball is MUCH WORSE than pumping in fake crowd noise. Visiting teams practice in those conditions all week and expect loud opposing stadiums. How do opponents practice against a QB and offense that never drops the ball?

    I hate to say it but Goodell needs to make an example out of them this time. This is Pete Rose stuff. It’s like if Madison Bumgardner was found to use a smaller baseball in the world series.

  10. Truly amazing how this stuff comes out AFTER the draft… No Coincidence at all… What a joke

  11. ESPN was wrong during this entire debacle. Mort’s original report was false and Ian Rappoport’s was correct. Kelly Naqi and outside the lines were wrong about the kicking ball report.

    People will bring this up just like they bring up the proven to be false story regarding the Rams walk-through tape. Since the media put this out there, the uninformed will bring it up as fact.

    Heck, Belichick and Kraft were exonerated in the Wells report but people still want them punished. Hatred and jealousy override logic and reason (and basic reading comprehension skills, apparently) quite often.

  12. I thought Billicheat had omplete control over everything that happened in the organization. Which is what everyone says u til something like this happens then he has no idea. Weird. Can’t wait until they find more evidence of cheating another way.

  13. no wrong doing lol what
    An NFL official was swapping out game balls to sell.
    they glossed that over very nicely.

  14. Of course there’s NO EVIDENCE. Tom Brady refused to cooperate with the investigation AND the Pat’s organization refused to immediately make the equipment manager’s and their employees available. The Pat’s and their players, and those involved did their utmost to OBSTRUCT the investigation, in an attempt to MINIMIZE any evidence.

    What planet are you on? This is what cheaters do!

  15. The next question, of course, is what will happen to McNally and Jastremski (the Boston equivalent of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern). Will the Patriots fire or suspend or discipline them? Have the Patriots conducted an internal investigation? Is Belichick going to discipline Brady? If these two aren’t fired, does that suggest a quid pro quo (i.e. silence for employment)?

    The more important question is what effect this had on the Patriots’ lower fumble rates in recent years. That’s deeply troubling.

    The NFL wants this to go away almost as much as the Patriots do. The integrity of the game has been fundamentally undermined.

  16. We already knew that some league employee tossed McNally the bogus ball because he was selling stolen game balls.
    Not news. What IS news is that the Wells reporg conveniently leaves out the league culpability with this and the general protocol of handling footballs.PSIhad never been gauged, never…in the history of the league at halftime.
    Colts were also below acceptable PSI level according to official, but that somehow too was conveniently buried in the report.

  17. foxboroempire says:
    May 6, 2015 7:08 PM
    ESPN was wrong during this entire debacle. Mort’s original report was false and Ian Rappoport’s was correct. Kelly Naqi and outside the lines were wrong about the kicking ball report.

    People will bring this up just like they bring up the proven to be false story regarding the Rams walk-through tape. Since the media put this out there, the uninformed will bring it up as fact.

    Heck, Belichick and Kraft were exonerated in the Wells report but people still want them punished. Hatred and jealousy override logic and reason (and basic reading comprehension skills, apparently) quite often.

    The management was exonerated..so the team SHOULD NOT lose draft picks..it is at this point..all BRADYS responsibity a 14 year veteran, that knows the rules, and is f ing with the integrity of the game..

    HE SHOULD GET A YEAR

  18. Gostkowski would need to run that sort of favour by the godfather of football tampering.

  19. For the last time, look at total fumbles, not fumbles lost.
    Patriots have not been the best as you claim.

  20. Video tape practices, manipulate balls to your advantage, run odd offensive formations without giving the defense time to respond. It’s all harmless. Heck it’s not like a Patriot murdered someone…..

  21. No evidence but ESPN/PFT want to prosecute the case against the Pats anyway.

    Lord knows that if this was a player vs a team or the league, ESPN/PFT would side with the player and ignore any evidence and scream that the player is “innocent until proven guilty” and that no one should “rush to judgement blah blah”.

    Corporations are people too…SCOTUS said so…therefore they are innocent until proven guilty too (and the media should NOT be the ones to determine guilt).

  22. Is everybody forgetting perhaps the most pertinent fact.. that MANY other QBS have gone on record saying that it is a common practice to adjust the inflation of the balls to get them “how they like them”?
    The question really isn’t if the Pats did it as much as questions of “is this really a big deal” and “how many other teams do it”….

  23. Broncos lost draft picks on two occasions for cheating the salary cap. Tainted Super Bowls. Fact, not opinion.

  24. The report said:

    “– The team’s star quarterback and the equipment assistant suddenly exchanging phone calls in the days just after news of underinflated footballs blew up.”

    So, what to make of TB suddenly calling all of his equipment boys right after getting caught with deflated balls? Look guilty much???

    Should be a minimum 1 year suspension to send a very strong message that if you do anything that purposely impacts the integrity of the game, YOU LOSE!

    Tom Brady, Pete Rose, same same! Pete Rose got a lifetime ban from the game. What’s Brady going to get? Crickets I know…

  25. Once again the most important piece of information coming out of this report is that…..

    THE PATRIOTS ARE STILL THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!

  26. Repeat offenders – Lie to investigators- Do not fully cooperate w/investigators- must be the Patriot way!

  27. Will these troll Seahawk fans just disappear for awhile!! Look at the PED violations recently with that team! Can they with a straight face chirp anybody?! Wow

  28. skawh says:
    May 6, 2015 7:26 PM

    The report said:

    “– The team’s star quarterback and the equipment assistant suddenly exchanging phone calls in the days just after news of underinflated footballs blew up.”

    So, what to make of TB suddenly calling all of his equipment boys right after getting caught with deflated balls? Look guilty much???
    ————————————————————–
    Immediately after the news broke wouldn’t an innocent person call up the guy and say “what the hell is going on?” How does this show guilt of anything?

  29. The “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is used here, in large part, because testimony and evidence may not be elicited by legal compulsion in this investigation. If this were a criminal action, brought by a government against a person, a witness could be compelled to offer evidence; the only grounds for withholding would be the right not to self-incriminate. The NFL has no more authority to compel testimony than it has to arrest a private citizen. Thus Tom Brady can refuse to turn over his cell phone (evidence), just as the Patriots can refuse to give Wells access to McNally and Jastremski for subsequent questioning. Only the NFL is in a position to discipline the Patriots (though, in theory, the Patriots could discipline Brady). So the lower standard of proof (more likely than not/preponderance of the evidence) is appropriate here, since the means of acquiring testimony and evidence is akin to that of a civil, rather than criminal, action. This legal standard essentially means “preponderance of the evidence” — and that, quite frankly, is sufficient here.

  30. Good thing the k-balls were legit, otherwise we would have to take away those three Super Bowls the Pats won on Vineteri last second FGs as well.

    That’s a weight off of my shoulders.

  31. If Kraft had any guts, he’d sue the league for defamation of character. Chuck Pagano, John Harbaugh and Mike Kensell, the Jets fan in the NFL front office, are all in cahoots with each other to frame the Patriots because they’re sick of getting whipped by the Patriots every year.

    Every team fudges ball inflation/deflation as Aaron Rodgers admitted. If it’s okay for the Packers to over-inflate footballs, then why is it not okay for the Patriots to leave them under-inflated. The NFL has NEVER fined any team for ball inflation issues until Chuck Pagano and John Harbaugh started whining. Coincidence? I think not.

  32. I’m turning 51 next month. I’ve been a Patriots fan since I was 13. There were some very solemn and dry years, stretching into decades.

    You make deals and you say, “Just once, I’d like to see them win. Just once.” Well, we Patriots fans have four. 4! And I honestly don’t care how they did it. If the NFL ain’t changing a rule, then the Patriots aren’t playing!

    The problem is that a lot of teams do something. But no one looks at the teams that do it and lose. Well, until this year. Steroids. Cap violations. Crowd noise. Texting. Filming. Ball deflation. It’s all there.

    But if they broke the rules, they need to be sanctioned. We’ll get through it.

  33. This really is outrageous. I seriously thought this was all fluff and media driven BS but there’s compelling evidence of outright cheating. Patriots fans can snark all they want about haters but this is bad. It goes to the most fundamental integrity of the game. Brady should sit for half a season and the Patriots should be officially stripped of their SuperBowl. Sounds harsh but the evidence is compelling, provided by unbiased bystanders with direct access to the info, before anything came to light. Tricky formations to confuse the defense, well thats fine but this is downright cheating and cannot be allowed to stand.

  34. Page 198-99 of the report (page 39 Table 10 of the Exponent report). Am I reading this right that they agree that the expected drop in pressure from 70 degrees to 48 is 1.13 for a ball filled to 12.5.

    and on page 7 of their report, Table 4, the average measured drops at halftime between the two testing officials was 1.39 and 1.01.

    So, basically, the numbers were what should have been expected?

  35. This fictitious report is the only way the 31 other coaches and owners can beat the pats because they sure are not talented or smart enough to do it on the field…

  36. “the management was exonerated..so the team SHOULD NOT lose draft picks..it is at this point..all BRADYS responsibity a 14 year veteran, that knows the rules, and is f ing with the integrity of the game.”

    So…. You’re agreeing with me? Brady is indicated in this report as being “more probable than not” aware of an illegal process involving game balls for the AFC title game. Belichick and Kraft were cleared. I don’t see why the team should be penalized in any way. That’s like stripping the Ravens of a draft pick for the Ray Rice incident. It’ll be Brady and the other two guys who face discipline.

  37. Not a Patriots fan. But seriously… deflated ball did nothing. Colts lost by 40+ points. Patriots have been good for a long time. People are trying make such a big deal. Just suspend a game or two and levy a big fine. And then move on… I can bet if you handed deflated ball to 95% of the starting QBs in the NFL and they would be still worse than Tom Brady. You still have to block, run routes and run the ball to win. Deflated ball by a pound or two does nothing to help them.

  38. > That’s like stripping the Ravens of a draft pick for the Ray Rice incident.

    Beating women is slightly more obnoxious than deflating a ball. Or do you not get that?

  39. An NFL official stole a ball and then snuck it back to the field when its absence was noticed, but “there was no wrong doing”???

    Right.

    Thorough job there, Wells team, way to protect the shield while throwing the Patriots under the bus.

  40. Maybe these guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out.

  41. “Beating women is slightly more obnoxious than deflating a ball. Or do you not get that?”

    You miss my point. Of course what Rice did was worse. All I’m saying is if a player does something wrong an organization does not get punished for it. Tom Brady and two other guys were indicated in the Wells report. Belichick, Kraft, and the Patriots organization as a whole were cleared.

    It’s apples to apples if you look at it in the lens of a player doing something wrong, not the specific act itself.

  42. Until Brady, Belichick, and Kraft are gone. The Patriots really are a suspect franchise. How much more has to go on before the NFL becomes a giant joke? It move a little closer today.

  43. metitometin says:
    May 6, 2015 7:48 PM

    If Kraft had any guts, [HE WOULD HAVE FIRED BELICHICK AND CUT BRADY AT 2:30PM WEDNESDAY]

  44. What bothers me in spygate and deflate-gate more than anything is in all 4 championship years the Pats were clearly the best team in the league and didn’t need to do any of this junk.

  45. If the Patriots were a college team the NCAA would call this a ‘lack of institutional control’. The players involved would lose their eligibility. The coaches would be fired and the program would suffer the loss of numerous scholarships. The NFL cannot afford to sweep this under the rug any longer. They need to come down hard on the Patriots for being repeat offenders.

  46. Remember when pats fans chirped how this last “clean” Super Bowl proved how great they were?

    Tom Brady is GOAT like Lance Armstrong is GOAT like Barry Bonds is GOAT

  47. If the PSI of the ball being proper is SO important to the “Integrity of the game” then explain to me why the PSI’s have never, ever been logged?. If that is such an overwhelmingly important factor then the balls should be checked and PSI’s logged pre-game and at halftime for every Pre. Regular and Post Season NFL game.

    IMO this more along the lines of using an illegal hockey stick that is curved beyond the accepted measurements, yes its “cheating” and the penalty? Two minutes in the penalty box.

    Those of you claiming this like Pete Rose are wayyyy off base, even if Tom is stone cold guilty, manipulating the air pressure of a football is nowhere near the same level of infraction gambling on a game you are involved in, not even close.

    I have a feeling if this were any team besides the Patriots and maybe Cowboys it would be nothing more than a blip on the sports radar.

  48. “They need to come down hard on the Patriots for being repeat offenders.”

    What rule has Tom Brady broken before? What rule have the other two guys broken before? You’re referencing Belichick who was cleared in this report. Why should the Patriots organization be penalized for something three guys did? Maybe, if the Wells report didn’t flat out exonerate Belichick and Kraft you’d have a point.

    Brady will be punished, the other two guys will probably be fired. You’ll all get your satisfaction, although I doubt you’ll get exactly what you want when Goodell issues his discipline.

  49. FreewayJim says:
    May 6, 2015 8:41 PM
    If the PSI of the ball being proper is SO important to the “Integrity of the game” then explain to me why the PSI’s have never, ever been logged?

    Because the league expects professionals to not have to be babysat during all aspects of their jobs. They expect professionals to be professional. Kind of a weird concept, I know.

  50. Thanks for the congrats!
    Patriots are still Super Bowl Champions
    You can really smile over it being a Steeler fan & all, geez

  51. What? You think the ball boy isn’t calling the shots?

    Tom Brady wanted the deflated balls.

    Gastkowski wasn’t on the phone with the ball boys after the story broke.

  52. The proof is simply that the balls were under the level of inflation as they were delivered to the Refs prior to the game. Is it the ball boy or Tom Brady? Or was it Tom Brady telling the ball boys what to do?

  53. Data from the report.

    Table 13 on pg 58 of Exponent’s report (pg 218 overall) for expected readings. Data from Table 6 on pg 9 of the report.

    Simulating the game day conditions the Patriots balls were expected to read between 11.44 to 11.62 PSI, depending on time indoors at halftime. Actual average: 11.49.

    Simulating the game day conditions the COLTS balls were expected to read between 12.30 to 12.38 PSI, depending on time indoors at halftime. Actual average: 12.33.

    So both sets of footballs performed exactly as they should given the game day conditions, both were under the limit at halftime, and somehow this hack finds they tampered?????

  54. The owner of the Pats is a good friend of the commish? The findings are BS

  55. The report claims that texts about over inflating footballs to 16 psi are really about deflating them, and the fact that Patriots lawyers were occasionally involved means they were hiding something. I repeat: in the Wells world, the right to counsel is a sign of guilt. What country is this? Russia? It’s not Russia, is it?

  56. Headline…

    Tom Brady is exonerated just like OJ. It is probable that they both did it. The difference is that OJ was a Bill and Brady is a Patriot.

  57. It’s interesting how all the Pats fans were all whining about people calling them cheaters and everyone being against them, now that it’s all but confirmed they’re just openly celebrating their cheating team and tainted legacy.

    We all knew you had zero class and were bandwagoning, delusional, Brady chowder guzzlers, but this really shows the lack of integrity in NE fans and solidifies them as one of the worst fanbases in sports history. Your team will forever have asterisks next to every bit of success they’ve seen.

  58. What a difference between MLB and NFL.

    MLB..HOFer banned for life because he bet on other teams.

    NFL…HOFer allowed to win in Super Bowl by cheating for years.

  59. Seriously why blame Brady?
    It’s the NFL’s fault for having a STUPID rule … Teams choose their own balls??? That’s asking like asking the looters to guard the liquor store.

  60. if the wells report says 3 of the 4 footballs tested at half time had illegal pressure , when does the indy investigation start ? i think this is a common sense question that very few are asking .

  61. Seriously, you wanna check phones and texts and all that, don’t bother looking at what some ball boys are telling each other.

    Go look at Belichick’s and/or the GM’s phones and see what they might have been saying and/or texting to Blount in the days/weeks before he got cut loose by the Steelers. Now THAT might make for some interesting/infuriating reading.

  62. Amazing how many people use the argument that the Pats “would have won anyway” or “its not such a big deal”. Whether its a ref, a player or a coach – outright cheating tarnishes the game for everyone. Its far worse than poor play or poor effort. Further, while many off the off field transgressions are morally worse than cheating on the field, the cheating warrants a more severe punishment by the sport itself as the act committed is done in the role of being a professional athlete.
    Pete Rose gambled on baseball although he never bet against his own team and received a lifetime ban. He merely gave the appearance of impropriety. Tom Brady intentionally cheated to increase his chances for success in an NFL playoff game and thats way worse than anything Pete Rose did.

  63. Give it a rest. The only people who care anymore are hack sports journalists and internet trolls.

  64. Pats: GOOD
    Rest of the NFL : BAD…

    Give me a f**cking break…

  65. Pat’s attendant tried to put kicking ball into game? Funny how things get distorted with selective reporting. The same NFL flunky who was fired for stealing game balls deliberately tried to plant a non-qualifying ball on the doofus ballboy. Kensil ran an unauthorized sting operation, falsified evidence, and violated NFL protocol both by not telling his boos, AND not informing both teams that there was a possible issue with underinflation allegations at the beginning of the game. This stinks. You can start the countdown to Goodell’s remaining days- Kraft will make sure of that!

  66. If deflating the ball doesn’t do anything, then why is Brady texting his guys to do it????

    Cheaters….

    0 legitimate Superbowls……..

  67. Cant wait to see my ultra motivated Super bowl champion New England Patriots shred your panzy teams…WAAAHHHHH, WAAAAHHHHHHH

    Go Pats
    2015 Superbowl Champs!
    2015 AFC Champs!

  68. The Patriots have a history of breaking and bending rules–FACT. They pulled a dirty trick against the Ravens–declaring a lineman eligible to catch a pass 2 seconds before the ball was snapped. Should have been called on it by the officials. Nobody else in the league pulls that crap, or has ever pulled it–just the Pats.

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